We talk about change as if it were a novelty as if we did not realize that we are immersed in the spiral of change. Our conditions change day by day. There are times when we wake up happy, others we feel energetic, there are times when we are hungry, others when we feel cold. Nothing is permanent. And just as it happens on a personal level, it happens in the professional and corporate world. Throughout the day we experience a series of changes in our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and work conditions. However, it seems that change is something external that we are not part of. The important thing is to realize that we are participants and to understand how we are going to get involved. Opportunities come to meet us, and the risks are on the side of the road, and it is up to us how we are going to deal with them.
Change is nothing new, yoga which is an ancient practice reminds us of the importance of having an active posture in the face of changes. In the face of evolutions, we can each take a different and diametrically opposed attitude: either we are witnesses of what happens or we are protagonists. Yogis consistently insist on the relevance of taking an active role in flowing and expanding. It's about having the serenity to pull the strings in our favor and change. We have believed that transformations must be revolutionary, disruptive and exhausting when they are not necessarily so. Yoga teaches that human beings are like a river: if we look at the calm waters, we could come to the wrong conclusion that everything is still and immutable and it is not so. The surface looks calm as the alluvial flow moves. In fact, the bottom of a river is never bathed by the same currents. The channel is constantly renewing them. Nature is a great master.
In fact, the best example of this persistent renewal is our breathing. In the framework of Hinduism, Prana, the inspired and expired air is the vital energy and to achieve positive transformations in the body, the mind and in all our circumstances we must understand the logic that makes it work. The oxygen that enters our lungs is transformed into carbon dioxide, this variation occurs constantly and automatically, almost as if we did not have to decide to do it. Of course, it is not the same to breathe consciously without realizing it. Something as simple as putting air into the lungs in a reflective way can relax us in a situation of anxiety, return to our cabals in anger, illuminate when we lack ideas, give value to the moment of making decisions.
An old Vedic story tells that on one occasion the five main faculties of our nature—mind, breath (prana), speech, hearing, and sight—once argued about which was the most important. To resolve the conflict, they decided that each one would leave the body to see what was the absence that was most missed. First, the speech broke, but the body continued to function despite being mute. Then the eyesight broke, but the body continued to advance even though it was now blind. Then it was the turn of the ear, and the body moved on despite being deaf. Finally, the mind split: the body was still alive even though it was now unconscious. However, the moment the prana began to split, the body began to die. The other faculties felt that they were quickly losing their life force, so they rushed to admit the supremacy of prana and asked him to stay. This millennial story tells us that change is nothing new.
Also, according to the practice of yoga, there is little point in trying to stop change; the important thing is to flow. If we tried to slow the respiratory flow, we would die. We have to go. What does that mean? It means that we have to take a dynamic position in the face of change. It's about having the stability to make decisions. It seems like nonsense and it's not, it seems like a contradiction and it's not. It seeks to be like the trees that move their branches, let themselves be guided by the air and that resist the gales thanks to the power of their roots. It is about allowing movement without being a weather vane that takes us in any direction. It is incredible how on many occasions, we act as a brake on a change that we ourselves are looking for. We close ourselves at the beginning of a new venture, we doubt the possibilities of a new product, we try to reduce the scope of a project even though we have fought for it. It is as if at the moment of truth, instead of wanting to enlarge, we diminish ourselves.
The wonder of this teaching is that it shows us how to achieve incremental innovation that grows in the face of transformations. When we opt for active participation, when we become protagonists and leave the position of witnesses, we take the reins and have the possibility to direct our efforts. Disruptions drain business resources, financial resources and talent; it depletes people, cracks stability and diminishes the ability of companies and individuals to compete. If we consider the pressures that are generated and the resistances that are generated by the unknown, the tiredness before the new and the eternal turbulences, the position of witness is not very comfortable. Better to become aware and be part of those who act. In this condition we can:
- enable the change;
- create stability that absorbs disruption and generates permanence;
- move with serenity.
Beware, being a protagonist implies understanding. A yoga teacher used to tell the following anecdote to exemplify the participation we must have in the face of change. One person was on his way to a place of pilgrimage. On the way, he ran into a deer that was standing on the way. He asked her to remove it and the animal did not move. He did everything he could think of to scare him away. The deer remained in place. In general, when we refer to flowing, we want others to move, to understand us, to help us and we believe that only then will we reach our goal. Why do we insist that others move if we are not prepared to do so? The real challenge is to understand at what point we should be the ones to change, otherwise, the deer will still be there without understanding our reasons. Being a protagonist implies provoking transformations in others starting with oneself.